Sam Westervelt, “I Want That You See Me.”

I Want That You See Me

 Es liegt Zauber in der Luft,” she said. When she gave him the translation he smiled, but it was sad and hesitant. “There’s magic in the air.” She felt it. He did not. Whether he felt it or not, there was no denying the fact, when she scooped a handful of water from the fountain, held it in her mouth, and let it out again as steam.

The steam twisted and curled into shapes, backlit by the softlight of a hundred candles, all aglimmer on the grass, the fountainrim and the stonewall encircling the park center. For her the steam formed itself to two figures, she and he. They danced in the blooming air. A kiss was their end, and they dissolved in embrace. But for him there walked a single man, who dissolved with a sudden windgust.

She turned to him and whispered, “Was hast du gesehen?”

That much he understood, at least.

“I saw a man walking, and he… dissolved.”

She looked questioning, and he tried to think of the German word for ‘dissolve’.

“Umm, he… Auflösen? Er hat sich aufgelöst?

She nodded, and her smile dimmed somewhat. She walked away from him. Sat on the fountainrim with downcast eyes. He watched the candlelight dance on her skin, casting strange shadows and accenting aspects: the hollow of her neck, carving of lips, tops of her breasts, which rose and fell in inhale, exhale. Her fingers tapped on her thighs, embraced in snug-fitting jeans.

After a moment’s hesitation, he walked to the fountain and sat by her. He pulled his cigarettes from a pocket of his jacket, gave her one. Her head was still downcast as she took it, and she looked at him, almost shy, but the red of her lipstick made it inviting, tugging.

She shook her head at him when he made to use a lighter and snapped her fingers briskly. A blue spark flashed between them, lighting the cigarette. She did his as well, and with that same look whispered, “Zauber.” The whisper was an exhale, and the smoke that came therewith wrote the word in the air.

They laughed together, and the earlier tension dissolved.

A silence spread itself out as they smoked. It was a soft silence, companionable, and measured by the smoldering length of their cigarettes. He decided that, before the silence stood and left, he would kiss her. He must kiss her. Yes, it was a must. His heart began to flutter birdlike, and the hand holding the cigarette jittered, making unintended smoke-rings. Or perhaps that was just the magic.

The cigarettes were nearly dead, his more than hers. He turned to her. She was looking at him. Her eyes were cast in halfshadow, cheekbones like water-polished rock. Lips. Red. His eyes flicked to her breasts, and he almost apologized. His heart was a bird in a cage. He leaned forward.

“Have you tried it?”

He pulled back. Wanted to pretend he had never leaned in the first place.

“Tried what?” he managed.

“The… ähm, der Todeskuss? Kiss of death?”

“Oh. No. What is it?”

Her lips parted in something that was almost a smile. Tugging.

“I will show you.”

She leaned forward. So did he. Only inches away now, he could not tell what color her eyes were. He closed his own, but she touched her fingers to his eyelids, and he opened them. She shook her head, hair aglimmer from candlelight.

Nein, ich will, dass… Sorry, ich meine, I want that you see me.”

He nodded, and she took the last drag from her cigarette. Held it in. The filter-end fell into the grass. She motioned him, and he leaned in further. Their lips met, parted, closed. His upperlip over hers. Dry at first, and then softening, silkening.

The smoke drifted from her mouth into his like midnight seafog. He tilted his head, made a different angle. Tongues touched, blushing, and asked for a dance. Her eyes flickered about as their lips told their story. Finally came to rest. And now, this close, he could tell their color.

After the candles had burned out, they broke apart. He exhaled his smoke. She exhaled hers. In the dark it was invisible. He felt her hand stroke his cheek.

Was hast du gesehen?

Without answering, he leaned in to kiss her again.


About the Author

Sam Westervelt is a student at SBCC. He is an English major with a strong interest in music and linguistics. Born in Port Angeles, Washington, he spent most of his youth in the Northwest. He writes prose and poetry, often blending fantasy, romance, and horror.



One comment

  1. Jan Peppler · · Reply

    Love this. Authentic, true, and still enough to entice the reader to lean it and wait for it. Nicely done!

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